Verses of John 2


John 2:12 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. How obedient in all things Christ was to the ceremonial law. he was not naturally subject to the law, but, to fulfil all righteousness, he kept the passover yearly, according to the command of God, That all the males should appear before him Exo 23:17 in the temple at Jerusalem.

Hence it is probably concluded, that Christ came up to the passover continually during his private life; and being now come up to Jerusalem to this first passover after his baptism, and solemn entrance upon his office, his first walk was to purge and reform it from abuses, not to ruin and destroy it, because it had been abused.

Now the abuse and profanation of the temple at that time was this: in the outward court of the Gentiles, there was a public mart or market, where were sold oxen, sheep, and doves, for sacrifice; which otherwise the people, with great labour and trouble, must have brought up along with them for sacrifice. Therefore as a pretended ease to the people, the priests ordered these things to be sold hard by the altar; the intention was commendable, but the action not justifiable. No pretence of good ends can justify that which is forbidden of God: a good end can never justify an irregular action.

Observe, 2. Our Saviour's fervent zeal in purging and reforming his Father's house. The sight of sin in any persons, but especially in and among professors, ought to kindle in our hearts (as it did here in Christ's breast) a burning zeal and indignation against it. Yet was not Christ's zeal so warm as to devote the temple to destruction, because of its abuse and profanation. Places dedicated to the worship and service of God, if idolatrously abused, must not be pulled down, but purged; not ruined, but reformed.

There is a special reverence due to the house of God, but for the Owner's sake, and the service's sake. Nothing but holiness becomes that place, where God is worshipped in the beauty of holiness. Christ by purging the court of the Gentiles from merchandise, not unlawful in itself, but necessary for the sacrifices which were offered in the temple, though not necessary to be brought there, did plainly insinuate, that a distinction is to be made betwixt places sacred and profane; and that what may be done as well elsewhere, ought not to be done in the house of God, the place appointed immediately for his worship.

Observe, 3. The greatness of this miracle, in the weakness of the means which Christ made use of to effect and work it: he drove the buyers and sellers before him out of the temple.

But how and with what?

St. Jerome, in Mat 21:1 and following says , That certain fiery rays or beams, darting from Christ's eyes, drove out these merchants from this place. I dare not avouch this, but I am satisfied that Christ drove them out, unarmed with any weapons that might carry dread and terror with them, at most but with a whip of small cords; which probably might be scattered by the drovers that came thither to sell their cattle.

Behold then the weakness of the means on the one side, and consider the greatness of the opposition on the other. Here was a confluence of people to oppose Christ, this being the most solemn mart of the passover, and here were merchantmen, whose hearts were set upon gain (the world's god) to oppose him. But neither the weakness of the means, nor the greatness of the opposition, did dismay him, or cause our Saviour to desist from the attempt of reforming what was amiss in the house of God.

Learn we hence, that it matters not how weak the means of the church-reformation is, nor how strong the opposing power is; if we engage Christ in the undertaking, the work shall certainly be accomplished.

O, how great was the work, and how weak and unlikely were the means here! a parcel of sturdy fellows, whose hearts were set upon their wealth, Christ no sooner speaks to them, and shakes his whip at them, but like a company of fearful hares they run before him. Christ, in purging of his church, will make every thing yield and give way to his power. Let it comfort the church under all unlikelihood of reformation. Who art thou, O great mountain? before our spiritual Zerubbabel, thou shalt become a plain.

I shall close my observations upon this miracle of Christ's whipping the buyers and sellers out of the temple, which both Origen and St. Jerome do make the greatest miracle that ever Christ wrought, all circumstances considered; I shall close it with this reflection, viz. Was there such power and terror in Christ's countenance and speech here in the temple in the days of his flesh? Oh, how terrible then will his face and his appearance be to the wicked and impenitent world at the great day! Lord! how fearful will his iron courage then be; how terrifying that voice, "Depart, depart from me, depart accursed, depart into fire: depart into everlasting fire, into a fire prepared for the punishment of apostate spirits, the devil and his angels!" God grant we may wisely consider it, and timely flee from the wrath to come.

Verses of John 2


Consult other comments:

John 2:12 - Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

John 2:12 - The Greek Testament

John 2:12 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

John 2:12 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

John 2:12 - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

John 2:12 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

John 2:12 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

John 2:12 - B.H. Carroll's An Interpretation of the English Bible

John 2:12 - College Press Bible Study Textbook Series

John 2:12 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

John 2:12 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

John 2:12 - Expositors Bible Commentary

John 2:12 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

John 2:12 - Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

John 2:12 - The Expositor’s Greek Testament by Robertson

John 2:12 - F.B. Meyer's Through the Bible Commentary

John 2:12 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

John 2:12 - McGarvey and Pendleton Commentaries (New Testament)

John 2:12 - Geneva Bible Notes

John 2:12 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

John 2:12 - Gnomon of the New Testament

John 2:12 - Godet Commentary (Luke, John, Romans and 1 Corinthians)

John 2:12 - Henry Alford's Greek Testament

John 2:12 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

John 2:12 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

John 2:12 - Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

John 2:12 - Commentaries on the New Testament and Prophets

John 2:12 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

John 2:12 - The Popular Commentary on the Bible by Kretzmann

John 2:12 - A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical by Lange

John 2:12 - Neighbour's Wells of Living Water

John 2:12 - Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer's New Testament Commentary

John 2:12 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

John 2:12 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

John 2:12 - Old and New Testaments Restoration Commentary

John 2:12 - Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

John 2:12 - Ryle's Expository Thoughts on the Gospels

John 2:12 - A Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 2:12 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

John 2:12 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

John 2:12 - You Can Understand the Bible: Study Guide Commentary Series by Bob Utley

John 2:12 - Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament

John 2:12 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

John 2:12 - Combined Bible Commentary

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament